6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

6 Things That Will Happen When We Don’t Have Enough Nurses

The nursing shortage has been an ongoing issue for many years, but this is all propaganda. We now know that there is no real shortage of nurses. But then again, what will happen if we are short on nurses? What happens when there are not enough nurses in the healthcare field? Here are six things that will happen.

When Nurses Disappear

Nurses are the jack of all trades in the healthcare industry. They do almost everything. From completing their front desk duties to transferring patients, and laboratory work, nurses, are there, working all the time. But when nurses are gone, will the world still be the same? Six things could happen when nurses are no longer here to do their job.

There will be more burnouts

When there are not enough nurses, more nurses are compelled to work more and stay on longer shifts. There’s no more downtime, and spending time with their family and friends is little to none. Tasks will pile up, and the remaining nurses will feel overwhelmed. This will drain them more to the point that they are no longer happy to do their job. In time, they will also quit, leaving fewer nurses to do the same routine and heading to the same route as their former colleagues. If no more nurses are left, this cycle will continue until no one is left to care for the sick and dying.

Low-quality patient care

Burnout causes nurses to lose patience quickly. When you’re always tired, dealing with difficult patients is challenging. And worse, burnout nurses won’t bother getting to know their patients or their cases any longer. This could affect the kind of care they give to their patients. And as a result, this could lead to poor quality care and many problems for patients and nurses.

More medical errors

No other healthcare professional stays with the patient longer than nurses. We are the ones who take care of the patient when the doctors are not around, and we make sure that all of them are taken care of. But what happens when a nurse is burned out? Tending to one patient can take around 15-20 minutes tops.

If you have ten patients waiting in line for their medication, you must take time and assess each medication so the right one goes to the correct patient. And when you’re a burned-out nurse, you could miss a small yet important detail about your patient’s medication. It can cost your patient’s life and your job on the line.

Low patient satisfaction

A burned-out nurse cannot provide quality patient care, leading to low patient satisfaction. The lack of available nurses can also affect this; many patients will feel like they are not given the care they came to the hospital for.

High mortality rate

Nurses are the ones who care for the sick and dying. When there are not enough nurses on the floor, emergency patients will be forced to wait longer. Emergency services will be delayed, and medical assistance will also be slow. We know that time is of the essence, especially when it comes to critical patients. When nurses are burned out, the lives of our patients are at stake.

Animosity among nurses

A short-staffed hospital means more work for the remaining nurses. This puts them under a lot of pressure and stress. And when stress takes over, peer relationships can get strained easily. Misunderstandings, like a simple bathroom break, coming in a few minutes late for work, or late endorsements, become a big deal to each other.

Your Takeaway

There is no nursing shortage if healthcare facilities take care of their nurses. Providing them with the help they need when they’re feeling down, like counseling or some needed time off, will make a difference. Nurses are not robots; we must take care of them. If we want nurses to be around longer and happier, we must find a way to help them too.

EP 199: The Renal System and RAAS

EP 199: The Renal System and RAAS

The Renal System

The renal system produces, stores, and eliminates urine. Kidneys make urine by filtering wastes and extra water from the blood. Urine travels from the kidneys through two thin tubes called ureters and fills the bladder. When the bladder is full of urine, a person urinates through the urethra to eliminate the waste.

Functions of the Kidneys

The kidneys are located on either side of the spine at the lowest level of the rib cage, consisting of the functional unit called a nephron. 

There are about one million nephrons in each kidney; these nephrons consist of tiny blood vessels called glomerulus attached to a tubule. 

When blood enters the glomerulus, it is filtered, and the remaining fluid passes to the tubule. In the tubule, minerals, elements, chemicals, and water are absorbed or filtered according to the body’s needs to create the final product, urine.

Our kidneys maintain a delicate balance of water and electrolytes in the body and remove excessive waste:

  • Remove wastes, urea, and ammonia, from the blood.
  • Maintain fluid status balance in the body by holding or retaining water and releasing and removing water from the bloodstream
  • It maintains the electrolyte balance of the blood.
  • Maintain acid-base/pH balance of the blood
  • Assist with endocrine functions such as the production of erythropoietin and calcitriol.
    • It is needed to produce red blood cells and calcium reabsorption, respectively.
  • Produce the enzyme renin
    • Help regulate blood pressure.
  • Convert vitamin D into its active form

Fun Fact: 

  • Every 24 hours, your kidney filters 200 quarts of fluid. About two quarts are removed from the body, and 198 quarts are returned to the bloodstream. 
  • The right kidney sits lower than the left kidney. 
    • It helps accommodate the large size of the liver, right above the right kidney.
  • We call it REabsorption rather the just absorption because the substances filtered from the glomerulus were already absorbed through the GI tract and taken into the bloodstream. Then the substances travel through the body via the heart and are sent to the kidneys through the renal artery to be filtered out. Therefore, our body reabsorbs these nutrients based on their needs, and the leftovers are excreted in the urine.

Anatomy of the Kidney

As a nurse and a nursing student, you’ll need to know these most critical parts of the kidney to understand how the renal system works.

Renal Capsule 

  • The outer layer of the kidney protects the kidney from outside organ infections. 

Renal cortex: 

  • A layer outside contains the renal corpuscles, which house the glomerulus and Bowman’s capsule, whose primary functions are to FILTER the urine and renal tubules. 

Renal medulla: 

  • The inside layer is located within the renal pyramids. It is hypertonic and very salty. Along with the nephron, these conditions help maintain water and salt balance in our body, specifically the Loop of Henle.

Renal artery:  

  • The renal artery takes oxygenated blood from the heart and moves it to the kidney to be filtered. It branches off around the renal columns into the renal cortex, into arterioles, and finally to the peritubular capillaries.

Renal vein:

  • The renal veins take filtered blood to heart for re-oxygenation and are pumped throughout the body. It comes from the efferent arterioles.

Renal pyramids: 

  • Lie Within the renal medulla contains the loop of Henle and parts of the collecting tubule.

Renal papilla, minor and significant calyx:

  • Pointed projections of the renal pyramid play a role in draining urine along with the renal pelvis, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

Nephrons: 

  • The functional part of the kidneys. 
  • Filters the blood via the renal corpuscle
  • Reabsorbs minerals/water and secretes waste via the renal tubule
  • Produces urine which drains down into the ureters, is stored in the bladder, and voided out via the urethra.
  • Each nephron is composed of 
    • Renal corpuscle (glomerulus within Bowman’s capsule)
    • Proximal tubule
    • An intermediate tubule (loop of Henle)
    • A distal convoluted tubule, a connecting tubule, and cortical, outer medullary, and inner medullary collecting ducts.

Glomerulus:

  • Lies within the nephron
  • Circular capillaries that have incredibly high pressure helps perform ULTRAFILTRATION.

Bowman’s capsule

  • Forms a cup-like sack around the glomerulus
  • It helps the glomerulus filter blood 

The Nephron and blood supply

Blood enters the afferent arteriole and sends blood to the first part of the nephron, called the glomerulus.

In the glomerulus, blood will be filtered, and filtrate will be created, a liquid consisting of the collection of fluid and particles from the blood. The filtrate will “drip” down into a capsule surrounding the glomerulus called Bowman’s capsule.

  • Bowman’s capsule collects the filtrate.
    • Water, NA, CL, CA, K, Mg, Phos, Bicarb, amino acids, glucose, creatinine, and urea.

Then the filtered blood exits via the efferent arterioles to the peritubular capillaries surrounding the nephrons. 

Peritubular capillaries carry the reabsorbed nutrients from the filtrate back into the body’s system to the renal vein. They secrete urea, ions, and drugs in the blood into the tubules.

The created filtrate then flows through the proximal convoluted tubule (PCT); here, the tubule reabsorbs most of the parts of the filtrate that we need to function that just came from the Bowman’s capsule.

Then the filtrate enters the Loop of Henle; we are now in the renal medulla. The loop of Henle has a descending limb and ascending limb. Its goal is to concentrate the urine via the renal medulla. The renal medulla’s interstitial fluid is hypertonic, helping reabsorb water from the filtrate to maintain the body’s water and salt balance.

  • Descending limb is only permeable to water.
  • Ascending limb is only permeable to ions.

The filtrate then enters the distal convoluted tubule, where more substances are reabsorbed and secreted. 

Then it travels to the collecting tubule, where parts of the filtrate are reabsorbed. Finally, the filtrate leaves the collecting tubule as urine which flow through the renal papilla, minor/major calyx, renal pelvis, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

Kidney and Blood Pressure Management 

The renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) is the system of hormones, proteins, enzymes, and reactions that regulate your blood pressure and blood volume long-term.

It regulates your blood pressure by increasing sodium (salt) reabsorption, water reabsorption (retention), and vascular tone (the degree to which your blood vessels constrict or narrow). The RAAS consists of three major substances including:

  • Renin (an enzyme).
  • Angiotensin II (a hormone).
  • Aldosterone (a hormone).

RAAS System

  • Increases blood pressure when it drops too low by activating Angiotensin II
    • Angiotensin II increases vasoconstriction, causing an increase in blood pressure. Conserves sodium and water to increase volume. Aldosterone and ADH are released. 
  • RAAS steps
  1. Blood pressure drops too low. 
  2. The sympathetic nervous system sends nerve impulses to Juxtaglomerular Cells in the kidneys to release RENIN.
  3. RENIN present in the blood will activate ANGIOTENSINOGEN in the liver.
  4. ANGIOTENSINOGEN then turns into ANGIOTENSIN I causing a release of ACE
  5. ACE is Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme. ACE converts Angiotensin I into ANGIOTENSIN II
  6. ANGIOTENSIN II activation will cause
  7. Vasoconstriction
    • Increases systemic vascular resistance (SVR) and blood pressure.
  1. Increase Blood Volume
      • Kidneys will keep water and sodium.
      • The adrenal cortex gland will be triggered by angiotensin II to release aldosterone. Aldosterone will also cause the kidneys to keep sodium and water and excrete potassium.
    • Angiotensin II triggers the pituitary gland to release ADH. It causes the kidneys to keep water.

2. Increased blood pressure

To learn more about the renal system, click here for the full episode 👇👇👇

TIMESTAMPS:

00:00 Introduction
02:10 The functional parts of the kidney
03:18 What does a kidney do
04:40 Kidney fun facts
05:40 Anatomy of the kidney
10:00 The nephron and blood supply
15:48 Kidney and blood pressure management
17:39 How the Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS) works
21:50 Further views on the episode
24:02 Wrapping up the show

 

 

EP 197: How to Optimize Brain Function and Promote Neuroplasticity with Nicole Vignola

EP 197: How to Optimize Brain Function and Promote Neuroplasticity with Nicole Vignola

How to Optimize Brain Function and Promote Neuroplasticity with Nicole Vignola

The ability of the brain to adapt and change due to experience is called neuroplasticity. This umbrella term refers to the brain’s ability to change, grow neural networks, and reorganize. It can involve functional changes due to structural changes while you’re learning or can be altered due to brain damage. How does neuroplasticity affect us in the long run? And how can we develop it to help optimize our brain function better?

Our Guest 

In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Nicole Vignola. Nicole is a neuroscientist that focuses on cognitive neuroscience that investigates high-risk decision-making. Her previous research drew upon adult synaptic plasticity, whereby she reconstructed a section of the adult mouse somatosensory cortex using computer-based analytics to explore the wiring diagram of the human brain. This served as a springboard for further interest and research into the plasticity of mindset change and how these principles can be adopted into everyday living.

Nicole is also a business owner and entrepreneur who coaches individuals and consults with organizations on brain health, longevity, mindset change, and optimization using science-based evidence.

Questions for our Guest

The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.

Looking forward to our conversation!

These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off your questions and wherever else our conversation goes.

  1. Can you give us a little background about yourself?
  2. What are your previous research experiences?
  3. What is optimal brain health everyone should be aware of?
    • How do you optimize your brain for maximal performance? 
  4. Talk to us about the neuroplasticity of mindset change. How can you adopt the principles into everyday life?
  5. What are science-based methods for mental resilience and managing burnout? 
  6. What happens in the default mode network? 
  7. Knowing everything about brain and mental health, what does your day-to-day routines? 

ENDING QUESTIONS

Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests.

If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why? 

Links: 

Connect with Nicole on Instagram and learn more about how our brain works at @nicoleneuroscience

Or visit her website at https://www.nicolesneuroscience.com/

Here’s how you can benefit from changing your mindset, watch this full episode 👇👇👇

TIMESTAMPS:

00:00 Introduction
02:11 About Nicole Vignola
03:35 How to enhance judgment under pressure
10:21 Does the brain react differently to physical stress compared to emotional stress?
12:40 The positive effects of sleep
14:04 The optimal sleep cycle for enhancing mental health
20:31 Actions you can take to sharpen your brainpower
25:10 Do cold baths and marijuana aid in sleep?
28:08 Tips on improving cognitive function
29:03 Does alcohol aid in sleep?
30:00 How neuroplasticity works
34:55 How long does it take for someone to form a habit?
36:53 Neuroplasticity versus addiction
40:18 Tips for developing mental strength
44:06 Amazing cognitive benefits of exercising
50:51 Where does consciousness comes from
52:11 Wrapping up the show

7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

7 Attainable Goals for Your Nursing Career

Nursing is an incredible career with rewarding rewards. You’ll meet all kinds of people and work in different fields. But it would be best if you had nursing career goals in mind. Remember, you will not be working in this field for the rest of your life. Set goals, work on them, and achieve them. 

Why should you have career goals?

Having your first nursing job is exciting. And while it is good to have a job, you must also have career goals. Why? Career goals help you stay focused. It will keep you from getting stuck on a cycle where everything looks and feels the same. Goals are your finish lines. They make your job more exciting. It gives you something to look forward to, steps to follow, and progress to make. 

As a nurse, your career goals may vary. But as you go through these goals, be sure to have achievable ones. What kind of career goals should you have as a nurse? Here’s what you need to know.

#1. Having an Advance Degree is a Plus

Furthering your career is always a wise decision. Advancing your career in nursing can boost your resume, increase job opportunities and security, and even help you earn more money. An Associate’s Degree is good but consider working towards your Bachelor’s Degree. It will allow you to work in magnet-status hospitals and offer you management positions. It will also open doors for leadership positions in nursing administration and management. That said, a Master’s Degree of Science in Nursing is helpful to have. 

Advanced practices are also an excellent option to take. This path requires you to have either a Master’s or a Ph.D. It will also give you more one-on-one care relationships with your patients. 

Choosing any specialty is one advantage of having a higher or advanced nursing practice. It will also give you better hours and a pay raise. Sometimes, nurses in this field become physician’s assistants or even pursue being a doctor. The most common paths for advanced practices are:

  • Nurse practitioner 
  • Nurse Anesthetist 
  • Nurse Midwife 
  • Physician Assistant

#2. Upgrade Your Nursing Certifications

As your nursing career grows, so should your certifications. Certifications are helpful in all stages of your nursing career. Whether you are new or already working as a nurse, this could put you in a good position. It will also give you an advantage over other candidates, especially when applying for a particular area you are interested in.

If you aim to work in a specialty area like ICU or other intensive care units, increasing your knowledge and credentials is the best way to do it. 

Be always on the lookout for ways to increase your knowledge. Specific certifications can also increase your competency as a nurse, and the more knowledge and skills you have, the more valuable you are. 

Many hospitals offer classes in-house for nurses who wish to obtain advanced certifications. All you have to do is sign up and start your journey from there. 

#3. Volunteer to boost your career

There is a constant need for nurses to volunteer all the time. Many clinics, hospitals, and other facilities need the help of volunteer nurses both in the United States and abroad. This is the best time to do some volunteer work. Nurses who volunteer internationally are highly appreciated in developing countries. There is a greater need for them in countries that need medical help. 

The excellent news about volunteering is you can start doing them even as a nursing student. As a registered nurse, volunteering can help boost your career. It is also a gratifying experience that no textbook or classroom can teach you. So, list volunteering as one of your career goals in the nursing field. You may enjoy it in the future. 

#4. Learn advanced technologies

The use of medical technology is constantly evolving, and nurses working in medical fields must adapt to these changes. These technologies could be portable patient monitors or telehealth services – all used to create, update or access patient files. Nurses must learn to use these technologies; mastering them can benefit your career in many ways. 

How can you stay updated with advanced technologies? For one, you can read free blogs for nurses. There are also many apps that nurses can use and familiarize themselves with the latest technologies used in patient care. Subscribing to journals and magazines for nurses is also helpful. They keep nurses updated with the latest technologies in healthcare. If you want to take it a step further, joining professional organizations for nurses can also help you. 

#5. Specialize in a specific nursing field

Nurses are the Jack of All Trades in this industry, but it is always wise to master one trade. There must be a reason why you decided to be a nurse. Maybe a family member inspired you to be one, or you have a passion for working with children. Either way, having a specialization helps you advance your career. If you are thinking of an area to specialize in, consider the following:

  • Ambulatory care
  • Cardiovascular 
  • Dialysis 
  • Gastroenterology
  • Geriatrics 
  • Holistic care
  • Infection control and prevention
  • Medical-surgical
  • Neonatal 
  • Neuroscience
  • Obstetrics 
  • Oncology 
  • Orthopedics 
  • Pediatrics or children’s healthcare
  • Psychiatric or mental health care

#6. Improve your communication skills

Nurses must communicate well with patients, families, and colleagues. And improving your communication skills can boost your career and growth as a professional nurse. 

Strong communication skills can boost patient health outcomes and enhance professional relationships with co-workers, patients, and their families. But beyond oral and written communication, nurses must also be good at active listening. It is your job to care for patients, take orders/directions from doctors and be part of a nursing team. 

Effective communication also includes patient education, compassion, awareness of people’s cultures, and presentation skills. 

#7. Climb the professional ladder

You can stay as a bedside nurse or change your career path. If you want to step away from bedside nursing, you can do that, but you can start small and work your way up. Start with a charge nurse position. As a charge nurse, you can handle different patient issues and are resourceful. You will also manage nursing staff, create shift schedules, and solve disputes during your shift. These roles are your precursor role in becoming a unit manager. 

Unit managers must have at least five years of nursing experience and administrative work. Sometimes, hospitals may require a bachelor’s or a master’s degree to qualify. 

Administrative positions remove nurses from the bedside and direct patient care, but big pay raises and banker’s hours come with that. If you want a thriving nursing career in the future, consider aiming for such a position. It will be an excellent option to keep open. Hopefully, these tips will help you reach your goals for your nursing career. 

 

Miscommunication Among Nurses and How to Avoid It

Miscommunication Among Nurses and How to Avoid It

Miscommunication Among Nurses and How to Avoid It

Nurses are among the essential workers in the healthcare world, especially now that we have a pandemic. However, miscommunication among nurses is an issue that happens quite often. How can this be avoided? What causes miscommunication among nurses? 

How Can Miscommunication Among Nurses Be Avoided?

There are a couple of ways that nurses can avoid miscommunication. Keep in mind that being able to relay the correct information about their patients can make a difference in nursing care. As a nurse, you must provide accurate data regarding their condition so proper nursing can be given. Here’s how you can do that:

1. Make eye contact when endorsing patients.

There is a sense of relief whenever the shift is over, especially if it has been a toxic one since you first clocked in. While it is exciting to exit the nurse’s station once your shift is over, make proper endorsements first. The best way to ensure no miscommunication is to make eye contact with the next nurse on duty when endorsing the patient’s chart. 

Take the time to explain everything, from the procedures done to the patient, medications given, the diagnosis (if you have to), and even the physician/s who came to check in with them.

Making eye contact gives you the chance to scan for any uncertainty in their face or if they understood what was said to them. It is also the best way to engage someone in a conversation and ensure they listen to what you say. 

2. Use bedside nursing boards.

Bedside nursing boards are also commonly known as bed-census boards. These can help you with an open line of communication among nurses in the team/building, the patient’s families, and you as health care providers.

The boards help with the patient’s condition and communicate with their families and the rest of the hospital staff. Understand that there are tons of healthcare providers in the hospital working on patients. Failing to communicate properly can lead to negative consequences.

Bedside boards are essential in providing reports to the next nurse on duty. It can help them understand what happened during your shift and fill them in on the patient’s history if this is their first time handling them. Bed-census boards also prove to the patient’s families that proper care is given to their loved ones. 

3. Take time to talk to your patients.

Nurses are often busy in each shift, and it is not surprising that they cannot give their patients full attention. However, taking the time to check on your patients, listen to their concerns, and show that you can help are enough to put them at ease. It is also a good nursing quality to have. 

Allowing a few minutes of one-on-one conversation with your patients can be rewarding. It is easier to see how they are improving and establish a sense of trust as their nurse. Although you may not do this every day, it is best to create a routine and stick to it. 

How Can Nurses Improve Their Communication Skills

Improving communication among nurses is possible. To do this, nurses like you practice patience and become better listeners. When you listen, you don’t offer one ear but both. Keep in mind that you are working with other nurses who are also busy. Listening to each other is crucial to providing better services to patients. 
 
You can also avoid communication conflict when you practice active listening. Active listening is repeating the key points of the conversation to the speaker. So, make it a habit to listen to your coworkers and improve your listening skills. 
 
Another way to avoid miscommunication among nurses is not to interrupt the speaker. This could be helpful during endorsements at the end of the shift. Allow the person to finish talking first before asking questions.
 
Keep in mind that even the slightest cues can determine the condition of patients. Resist the urge to ask questions whenever someone is talking. 
 
As a nurse, you must also learn to maintain a positive attitude. Remember, happiness is contagious! Your positive outlook can also affect your coworkers and even your patients.
 
When things get a little serious, be sure to keep your emotions in check. Your nurse training taught you to remain professional and courteous during conversations. No matter how angry or upset you are, keep it cool.
 
Be aware that your emotions can affect others and your ability to communicate at work. When you do so, miscommunication among nurses will not happen.

In Closing

Communication is an essential part of patient care, and when this is done accordingly, it is nurses can work together effectively. If you feel like you or your coworkers are missing out on proper communication, take the step to address this issue. It will surely help your team and other hospital staff to do better as you provide nursing care to your patients.